|Baseball player Ottis Johnson|
April 5, 1588 – Author and political philosopher Thomas Hobbes was born in Westport, Wilshire, England. His most famous book is 1651’s “Leviathan.”
April 5, 1614 – Pocahontas, the daughter of Chief Powhatan, married Englishman John Rolfe in Jamestown, Va., bringing about a shaky truce – called the Peace of Pocahontas – between the English settlers and native Indians.
April 5, 1621 – The Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, Mass. on a return trip to England.
April 5, 1673 – Belgian-French explorer and politician François Caron, who served as the eighth Governor of Formosa, died at sea near Portugal. He was around 73 years old.
April 5, 1722 – The Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovered Easter Island.
April 5, 1774 - In London, Benjamin Franklin wrote an open letter to Great Britain's prime minister, Frederick, Lord North. Franklin's satirical letter suggested that the British impose martial law upon the colonies and appoint a "King's Viceroy of all North America." The letter was published in The Public Advertiser on April 15.
April 5, 1778 - North Carolina became the tenth state to ratify the Articles of Confederation.
April 5, 1792 – U.S. President George Washington exercised his authority to veto a bill, the first time this power was used in the United States. He vetoed a measure for apportioning representatives among the states.
April 5, 1800 - A luminous flying ship was spotted over Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
April 5, 1804 – In what is now known as the “High Possil Meteorite Incident,” the first recorded meteorite in Scotland fell in Possil.
April 5, 1810 - Alabama author Philip Henry Gosse was born in Worcester, England.
April 5, 1825 – During his historic tour of the United States, Lafayette arrived in Selma, Ala.
April 5, 1827 – Dr. Joseph Lister, the father of antiseptic medicine, was born in Upton, England.
April 5, 1837 – Poet Algernon Charles Swinburne was born in London.
April 5, 1856 - Booker T. Washington, African-American educator, author and leader, was born on a farm near Hale's Ford, Franklin County, Virginia. Born a slave, Washington worked his way through school and in 1881 was selected to head the newly established Normal School for Colored Teachers at Tuskegee, Alabama. He guided the development of the institution until his death in 1915. (The date of his birth was unknown even to Washington; based on evidence submitted after his death, the Board of Trustees of Tuskegee Institute adopted April 5, 1856, as "the exact date of his birth.")
April 5, 1861 – During the Civil War, Fort Quitman, Texas was abandoned by Federal forces.
April 5, 1862 – During the Civil War, the Battle of Yorktown began as Union forces under General George McClellan established siege lines at Yorktown, instead of directly attacking the Confederate defenders.
April 5, 1862 – During the Civil War, Edisto Island, S.C. was occupied by Federal forces. Skirmishes were also fought at San Luis Pass, Texas and near Lee’s Mill and at the junction of the Warwick and Yorktown Road, Va.
April 5, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in the vicinity of New Carthage, La. and at Davis Mill, Tenn. A two-day Federal reconnaissance between Grand Junction and Saulsbury, Tenn. began. A three-day Federal reconnaissance originating from La Grange, Tenn. to Early Grove and Mount Pleasant, Miss. began. Early Grove was later on known as Eupora, Miss.
April 5, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Mark’s Mill and another at Whiteley‘s Mill, Ark.; in eastern Kentucky at Quicksand Creek; at Natchitoches, La.; in the swamps of the Little River, in the vicinity of Osceola, Mo., and another on Pemiscot Bayou, Mo.; and at Blount’s Creek, N.C. Federal gunboats also had difficulty with low water in the Red River in Louisiana.
April 5, 1865 - Confederate General Robert E. Lee pulled his troops from Amelia Court House and retreated.
April 5, 1865 - A federal operation between Huntsville and New Market, Ala. began.
April 5, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Newport Bridge, Fla.; at Amelia Springs and at Paine’s Crossroads, Va.; and along the Neuse River, N.C. A 10-day Federal operation between Charleston and the Santee River in South Carolina began. A 10-day Federal operation between Georgetown and Camden, S.C. began. A 13-day Federal operation between Camp Bidwell to Antelope Creek, Calif. began.
April 5, 1865 - While Jefferson Davis attempted to handle the politics from Danville, Robert E. Lee and the remnants of the proud Army of Northern Virginia still had to see to the defenses. They had retreated to Amelia Court House in expectation of finding supplies stored there. They were not, and Lee later wrote “This delay was fatal and could not be retrieved.” The Danville Railroad was blocked by Sheridan; Lee ordered materiel from Lynchburg instead.
April 5, 1869 - Daniel Bakeman, the last surviving soldier of the U.S. Revolutionary War, died at the age of 109 and was buried in Sandusky Cemetery in Freedom, New York.
April 5, 1871 – Croation explorer Mirko Seljan was born in Karlovac, Croatia.
April 5, 1886 - Monroe County (Ala.) Court convened on this Monday.
April 5, 1887 - Anne Sullivan taught Helen Keller the meaning of the word "water" as spelled out in the manual alphabet.
April 5, 1891 – A.J. Morris passed away at Heflin, Ala. at nearly 100 years of age. He was said to have been the last survivor of the settlers at Fort Mims. Morris was said to have been among five survivors who escaped through the pickets when the fort was attacked. All five went to Mount Vernon to report the attack.
April 5, 1900 – Archaeologists in Knossos, Crete, discovered a large cache of clay tablets with hieroglyphic writing in a script they call Linear B.
April 5, 1901 – Pediatrician and microbiologist Hattie Alexander was born in Baltimore.
April 5, 1906 – J.D. Deming and his wife, Fannie D. Deming, sold their bank building to the Peoples Bank of Evergreen, Ala.
April 5, 1909 – On a Sunday night, an unknown number of burglars entered the residence of Conecuh County (Ala.) Tax Collector W.S. Oliver and stole his pants, which contained money and other valuables.
April 5, 1911 – During “one of the worst storms” in years, over six inches of rain fell in Evergreen, Ala. as “rain fell in torrents and the wind reached a high velocity.”
April 5, 1915 – Conecuh County (Ala.) Circuit Court convened with Judge Gamble presiding. E.C. Lee of Evergreen was the foreman of the grand jury, and Solicitor Bricken was also on hand to represent the state.
April 5, 1916 – Gregory Peck, who portrayed Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” was born in La Jolla, Calif.
April 5, 1917 – Crime and suspense writer Robert Block was born in Chicago. He is best known for his 1959 novel, “Psycho.”
April 5, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Lee’s many friends would be gratified to know that Mrs. Lee’s health had so far improved as to enable her to leave the infirmary where she had been under treatment for several months.
April 5, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that at a recent meeting of the Monroe County Board of Education, Prof. W.L. Porter was nominated as principal of the Monroe County High School for the coming year. It was assumed that the state authorities would ratify the selection. Porter had had “extended and successful experience as a progressive educator,” having served as superintendent of the city schools of Tuskegee for several years and as the head of the Brewton Institute for the previous four years.
April 5, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that the “epidemic of measles which prevailed here for several weeks has practically subsided and all patients are in normal health.”
April 5, 1918 - General Erich Ludendorff formally ended “Operation Michael,” the first stage of the final major German offensive of World War I.
April 5, 1920 – Novelist Arthur Hailey was born in Luton, Bedfordshire, England.
April 5, 1923 – Professional baseball player John Ottis Johnson was born in Conecuh County. In June 1951, he became the last professional baseball player to die after getting hit in the head by a pitch. He is buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Evergreen, Ala.
April 5, 1925 – The Women’s Club of Perdue Hill, Ala. presented Alabama Lodge No. 3 with the desk that LaFayette spoke from during his visit to Claiborne in 1825. The desk has a sliver plate attached to it to commemorate his visit.
April 5, 1933 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6101, which establish the Civilian Conservation Corps.
April 5, 1937 – Evergreen, Ala. received 6.92 inches of rain during a 36-hour period that resulted in 8.65 inches of rain between Sat., April 3, and Mon., April 5.
April 5, 1937 - A movie version of Alabama author Octavus Roy Cohen's book “Jim Hanvey, Detective” was released.
April 5, 1938 – Work began on the new athletic stadium at the Evergreen High School in Evergreen, Ala. It would eventually be named Brooks Stadium, and later Brooks Memorial Stadium, in honor of J.R. Brooks, who was mayor of Evergreen, Ala. when the work began.
April 5, 1939 - Author Thomas R. Atkins was born in Mobile, Ala.
April 5, 1944 – 1st Lt. Laula M. Middleton of Conecuh County, Ala. was declared dead. He was declared missing in action a year earlier over North Africa in World War II while serving with the 310 Bomber Group Allied Air Force. He went MIA when the bombing plane of which he was crew member was lost in combat over the Mediterranean Sea between Sicily and Tunisia. A marker in his memory was placed in the Belleville United Methodist Church Cemetery and Evergreen’s airport was named Middleton Field in his honor.
April 5, 1945 – An early morning fire destroyed the home of Mr. and Mrs. H.C. Gilmore on Magnolia Street in Evergreen, Ala.
April 5, 1945 – German SS officer Karl-Otto Koch, 47, was executed by firing squad at the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany, one week before American allied troops arrived to liberate the camp.
April 5, 1950 – NFL punter Marv Bateman was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. He would go on to play for the University of Utah, the Dallas Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills.
April 5, 1951 – Major League Baseball second baseman Rennie Stennett was born in Colon, Panama. He would go on to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants.
April 5, 1951 – NFL linebacker Brad Van Pelt was born in Owossa, Mich. He would go on to play for Michigan State, the New York Giants, the Los Angeles Raiders and the Cleveland Browns.
April 5, 1951 – Army PFC Ralph Sasser of Escambia County, Ala. was killed in action in Korea. A light weapons infantryman, he was serving with the 17th Infantry Regiment in the 7th Infantry Division when he was killed in South Korea. He received the Combat Infantryman Badge, Korean Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, the Republic of Korea Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal.
April 5, 1956 – A B-25, converted to a civilian cargo-carrying plane, disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle with three aboard in the vicinity of the Tongue of the Ocean, a mile-deep underwater canyon to the east of Andros Island in the Bahamas.
April 5, 1965 - The color of National Football League penalty flags used by officials was changed from white to bright gold.
April 5, 1969 – During the Vietnam War, approximately 100,000 antiwar demonstrators marched in New York City to demand that the United States withdraw from Vietnam.
April 5, 1969 – Estonian SS officer Ain-Ervin Mere died at the age of 66 in Leicester, England.
April 5, 1972 - Moving out of eastern Cambodia, North Vietnamese troops opened the second front of their offensive with a drive into Binh Long Province, attacking Loc Ninh, a border town 75 miles north of Saigon on Highway 13. At the same time, additional North Vietnamese cut the highway between An Loc, the provincial capital, and Saigon to the south, effectively isolating An Loc from outside support.
April 5, 1976 – Major League Baseball pitcher Ryan Drese was born in San Francisco, Calif. He went on to play for the Cleveland Indians, the Texas Rangers and the Washington Nationals.
Apriil 5, 1976 – Major League Baseball first baseman and outfielder Ross Gload was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He would go on to play for the Chicago Cubs, the Colorado Rockies, the Chicago White Sox, the Kansas City Royals, the Florida Marlins and the Philadelphia Philles.
April 5, 1983 - The Monroeville (Ala.) Area Chamber of Commerce was scheduled to hold its annual banquet on this Tuesday night, with Frank L. Mason, president of Mason Corp. of Birmingham, a small home-improvement business, as guest speaker. The banquet was to be held at the Vanity Fair Golf and Tennis Club with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by a buffet-style dinner at 7 consisting mainly of hors d’oeurves. New officers and directors were to be sworn in by Monroe County Probate Judge Otha Lee Biggs.
April 5, 1994 – Modern rock icon Kurt Cobain, 27, of Nirvana committed suicide with a shotgun on this day in 1994. His body was discovered inside his home in Seattle, Washington, three days later by Gary Smith, an electrician, who was installing a security system in the suburban house. Despite indications that Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana, killed himself, several skeptics questioned the circumstances of his death.
April 5, 1999 - Barry Bonds was walked intentionally for the 270th time of his career. He passed Hank Aaron on the all-time list.
April 5, 2016 – A UFO was reported around 4 a.m. on this Tuesday in Tuscaloosa. The witness in this case was smoking on a balcony when he spotted an unusual object that at first appeared to be a large aircraft that “lit up in the darkness, without making a sound.” This strange object then “instantly propelled itself into the distance, leaving behind a momentary trail of green and orange light,” the witness said. The object also changed direction in an unusual fashion and moved “much more quickly than any shooting star.” The witness noted that the object appeared to be three to four times larger than any of the other stars in the sky.